Monday, August 26, 2013

Maps on Monday



For today's Map on Monday, we have a current screenshot from the tracking page for Scout: The Autonomous Transatlantic Robot Boat.

She was launched successfully from the mouth of the Sakonnet River around midnight on Friday. The blue markers are her GPS waypoints and the line of small blue and orange dots is her actual track. The orange dots indicate the time when she is "drift mode" when her batteries are depleted (which happens at night time or on cloudy days).

Right now she should be headed to that blue marker, waypoint 012, in the bottom right hand corner of the picture.

Obviously she has decided to go somewhere else!

What happened?

The best guess of the team is that there is a bug in the waypoint handling code which is causing Scout to skip many of the waypoints that she should be navigating to. They think she is now navigating to waypoint 044, which is quite close to the Spanish coast, a few thousand miles away.

In any case she has gone too far for the team to go out and recover her now so they are going to let her go for it and hope she finally makes it to Spain.

Viaje Seguro!


11 comments:

George A said...

The fact that she's sailed beyond easy recovery is a mark of success itself. GO GO little boat!

Tillerman said...

I think there was a record of 60 miles for a boat like this and she has already blasted through that. Has currently traveled over 130 miles and is 100 miles from her starting point.

Presumably she is now sailing the great circle route to waypoint 44. It's not clear to me why the team didn't plan this route anyway, rather than the more southerly route. Currents? Winds? More sun further south? Avoiding islands?

Any guesses?

Baydog said...

Crabpots

Tillerman said...

In mid-Atlantic?

Sam Chapin said...

Reminds me of the time I threw messages in some bottles into the Gulf Stream near Key West and hoped that they would reach France or England.
No batteries.

Gordon S said...

The Gulf Stream no-doubt has other plans.
http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycom1-12/navo/glfstrspdcur_nowcast_anim30d.gif

Pandabonium said...

"a bug in the waypoint handling code" Like I said, it looks like a cockroach...

Greg said...

It is planning to take the overland route through southern Portugal.

Tillerman said...

The team have realized that they may have to go to Portugal rather then Spain to retrieve the boat now.

BlueVark said...

Should be nice in Portugal in February.

Anonymous said...

“Out of sight of land the sailor feels safe. It is the beach that worries him.” Charles G. Davis

http://nomadicliving.com/

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